Last night I went back to the gym for the first time since before the holidays. And previous to that I hadn't been to the gym in close to a year. Not that emotional trauma and stress should ever be a good excuse to devalue your health, but 2012 was a transition year for me in many ways. I quit freelancing and worked a part-time job instead that left little time for pretty much anything, I traveled to seven meetings, I broke up with my long-term boyfriend in dramatic fashion, I ended up having a $6,500 repair bill for some water damage caused by a malfunctioning water heater (which in turn made me take even more hours at the part-time job), and I started dating a chef.
But let's talk about last night at the gym. My trainer, Stephanie, is great. She's stern but not a bitch about it, and she's very knowledgeable about diet and exercise. We worked on arms (holy cow it was tough!), legs, and abs. Honestly, even though there were points when I wanted to die, it felt amazing to workout again. I realized last night that I missed it so much and how good I felt after a workout well done. Perhaps if I had kept up my exercise during 2012, it wouldn't have felt like such an overwhelming year.
I burned 720 calories in that short hour and 15 minutes because I'm so out of shape right now. And this morning my elbow hurts something fierce for some reason. But it's a good pain. I can feel my muscles for the first time in a long time, and it feels good to be aware of my body again.
I plan on hitting the gym more regularly in the coming days and weeks. I want to look good (and be healthier) for my 35th birthday next month. I'm not running any half-marathons and it won't be anything like last year's birthday, but I will be in Florida with my parents, the puggies, and my sweetheart, Travis.
If anyone is reading this blog, my wish is to impart hope that although life can sidetrack you, there's always a way back no matter how far away you've gotten, and that goes for happiness as well as fitness. For many weeks after the whole Brian fiasco, I felt like I had wasted 7 of my best years. From age 27 until 34, my life was tied up in someone else, and at the time I was happy to make the sacrifice because I thought that's what you had to do for true love. When I discovered that he had been married for close to the entirety of our relationship (oh yeah, the whole first year of our relationship he was planning his wedding to Amanda on the side), I went crazy thinking of the life I could have had if I hadn't met Brian. In 7 years, I could have met someone else, someone true and kind. I could have married that person and had a pretty little family of my own. I thought about whether my children would be in kindergarten or first grade by now and all of the things I missed out on in that regard. And I felt utterly defeated. He stole 7 years from me at the prime of my life that I'll never get back.
Eventually, I stopped punishing my own stupidity with these thoughts, and I opened my heart again. Travis is nothing like Brian in every sense. In the 6 months we've been together, I've met his parents and friends; he invited me to spend Christmas Eve at his aunt's house with his family; and he invited me to spend NewYear's Eve with him and his friends at a little cozy get together. That's so much more than Brian ever offered to share with me. And I appreciate Travis for showing me that there is hope. There's hope in life and in love. And whether Travis and I make it all the way or not, I will always cherish the gift of joy and hope he gave me at such a dark time in my life. He's truly a beautiful person.